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By letting member states set the pace and scope of Andean integration, by condemning unequivocal violations of Andean rules, and by allowing for the coexistence of national legislation and supranational authority, the Tribunal has retained its fidelity to Andean law while building relationships with nationally-based administrative agencies, lawyers, and judges. Yet the Tribunals circumspect and formalist approach means that, unlike in Europe, community law is not an engine of integration.
The Tribunals strategy has also limited its influence within the Andean legal system. The authors also revisit their own path-breaking scholarship on the effectiveness of international adjudication. Alter and Helfer argue that the European Court of Justice benefitted in underappreciated ways from the support of transnational jurist advocacy movements that are absent or poorly organized in the Andes and elsewhere in the world.
The Andean Tribunals longevity despite these and other challenges offers guidance for international courts in other developing country contexts. Moreover, given that the Andean Community has weathered member state withdrawals and threats of exit, major economic and political crises, and the retrenchment of core policies such as the common external tariff, the Andean experience offers timely and important lessons for Europe's international courts.
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Alter and Helfers' comparative analysis of the Andean Tribunal of Justice across several decades of an evolving and volatile political landscape is particularly valuable for those engaged in promoting human rights in the Global South, who will beinterested in the ATJs insistence that economic integration also respect fundamental rights. A vital contribution to the under-researched topic of supranational bodies in the developing world, this bookre-conceptualizes the operation of all international courts.
A couple of decades later, the member states of the Andean Community transplanted the ECJs design features and doctrines into their region by creating the ATJ. Alter andHelfer tell us how this new-style international court, despite moving in a political and economic environment so different from that of its European role model, was able to establish for itself a distinct role.
The authors are right in calling the ATJ the most successful example of an internationalcourt in a developing country context and they make their point in a clear, lively and superbly researched way.
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